The sale day came, a Saturday morning, and for the first hour, maybe two hours, no one showed up. We’d been to the bank the day before and our pockets were bulging with change as we sat on the couch waiting. My husband had posted fliers throughout the neighborhood. I’d sent a fair amount of e-notices. We knew that people would show up and that we’d just have to be patient. Our downsizing was being taken to the next level.

Then someone knocked on our door and from that time on and throughout the next two days a bunch of bargain hunters showed up. Some folks came with specific requests for items and we certainly had plenty of variety for them to pick through.

We sold the round oak table; a couch, CDs, dishes, and we sold the fish tank. A lovely family with two little girls bought the tank, the fish and all the equipment that go with tropical fish keeping.

One woman came back a couple of times, once she arrived with her mother who liked a pair of fancy candlesticks that years ago I stuck in the back of a closet. Those candlesticks hadn’t been used in over ten years and now they would be nicely displayed, the woman said, in her China cabinet.

Putting a price on my possessions was probably the most difficult part of having the sale. It took me days and days to get around to marking a price on anything. I think there were two things going on here. First I did not know the actual value of what I was selling, not that I had anything that was really worth a lot of money. But it was the personal value that kept me from putting a number on something. Eventually I realized that all I wanted was to be rid of this stuff and I priced everything to go.

The last afternoon of the sale a contingency of families with children arrived and we put a kid’s movie on the TV to entertain them while the parents shopped and chatted.

There were no surprises. Some of the items that sold first were the better, less worn pieces. A few people arrived, nervous and shy, they looked around and then departed without saying a word. But there were family, friends and neighbors who arrived, talked up a storm, curious about our move and ate the cookies we provided and drank a cup of coffee.

Amongst some of the items that were sold was a bear coin bank. It’s a heavy old thing and a dear friend of the family now owns this item.

And my statue of Buddha, the statue that sat in various corners of the apartment for at least 20 years is now going to hang out in Brooklyn with the family that bought the fish tank.

We had big shoppers and we had little shoppers and everything that was not sold will be given to a thrift store. I no longer have a strong attachment to anything that was either purchased or is left over. I’m happy to see my old stuff find a new home. It gives me the freedom to move on.


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